BARBRE, WILLIAM E., commercial salesman, formerly a resident of Sangamon County, but now of North Dakota, is one of the men who helped to develop the agricultural regions of this locality. He was born in the county January 5, 1859, being a son of James L. and Lucinda (Dixon) Barbre, natives of Indiana, where he was born March 4, 1834, and she September 6, 1833. The father came to Sangamon County at a very early day, entering land and farming. He married there, continuing his farming until his retirement, when he went to Taylorville, where he now resides, aged seventy-seven years. His wife is also living. There were nine children in the family, of whom four survive: William E.; Mrs. Minnie Marshall, of Colorado; Mrs. Hattie Wade of Springfield, and Mrs. George Search, also of Springfield.
Mr. Barbre was educated in the schools of the county and assisted his father on the farm, until he attained his majority, when he began farming for himself. He continued this line of work until 1900, when he engaged with the Racine Sattley Company, as traveling salesman, with headquarters in North Dakota. He belongs to the United Brethren Church. In politics he is a Democrat.
On September 3, 1879, Mr. Barbre was married in Mechanicsburg, to Flora A. Jacobs, born March 6, 1860, in this county, being a daughter of Adam and Lucinda (Garren) Jacobs, natives of Sangamon and Jefferson Counties, Ill. Mr. Jacobs was a farmer, dying in 1869, but his widow survived him until 1904. There were two sons and one daughter in the family, and but two survive. Mrs. Barbre died April 3, 1896, having been a devoted wife and mother. She had borne her husband seven daughters and one son, three of whom died in infancy, those living being: Mrs. Pearl Grubb, wife of Gordon Grubb, of Mechanicsburg; Jesse, of Delaware, Okla.; Grace, wife of Charles Bell, of Lanesville; Flora, a resident of Mechanicsburg and Fern, adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Garren. There are five living grandchildren in the family.